Other States

Congress downplays BSP-Jogi tie-up

A day after the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati announced a tie-up with Ajit Jogi’s Janta Congress Chhattisgarh for the forthcoming Assembly elections in the State, the Congress on Friday downplayed the import of the development, asserting that one had not heard the last on alliances.

“It must be seen in context; first, it is an evolving situation and is limited to Chhattisgarh where the BSP won all of one seat in the last election,” said senior Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.

“Each of these adjustments, talks, gathbandhans [alliances], arrangements are completely State specific. What applies to Chhattisgarh certainly does not automatically apply to Madhya Pradesh or to other States, be it Uttar Pradesh or Rajasthan. These are completely State-specific alliances and it is not only about BSP but about every other party. And I think we have not seen the last word on the subject.”

The Congress’s public position notwithstanding, the key question being asked in political circles is whether the BSP’s announcement undermines the opposition’s plan of a grand alliance in 2019, especially in U.P.

Also, while the Congress officially says it is still in talks with the BSP for a tie-up in Madhya Pradesh, party leaders privately state that the BSP chief is under pressure from the BJP not to be part of any grand alliance.

“There is little doubt that she is being directly monitored by the ruling party and the government through its agencies,” said a Congress leader from U.P., who didn’t want to be named.

The Income Tax department is reported to have put under scrutiny business transactions carried out by Mayawati’s brother Anand Kumar, according to the Congress leader.

Political observers contend that the BSP chief is also possibly wary of helping the Congress to strengthen its position in the Hindi heartland by winning crucial State elections.

“If Congress wins States like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, then they will gain the kind of momentum that the BSP will not like and an alliance right now for these Assembly polls may not suit her,” said a Bengaluru-based leader of the Janata Dal (Secular), which has alliances with both the Congress and the BSP in Karnataka.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 8:44:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-downplays-bsp-jogi-tie-up/article25010814.ece

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